Hammers Back to Winning Ways as Newcastle's Run Comes to an End
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 30 Nov 2014 12:20:00
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After three games without a win a resurgent Newcastle United were not the team West Ham United wanted to play on their current form, but the Hammers picked up their first win in front of the home support since the stunning victory over Manchester City on 25 October by beating the Magpies 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Sam Allardyce made three changes to the side that suffered defeat at Everton last time out, as he was able to welcome back Stewart Downing and Cheikou Kouyate in place of Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole. Winston Reid was suspended so James Tomkins was able to start a second game in succession as he partnered James Collins in defence. Matt Jarvis was also included after impressing from the bench at Goodison Park last weekend.

Mark Noble had recovered from his achilles injury in order to make an appearance for the club and he took the captain's armband in Nolan's absence.

It was a bright opening from both sides with West Ham testing goalkeeper Rob Elliot with a few efforts but Newcastle were matching them as Adrian also had to be on his game to keep out some close chances. As the half wore on however, the visitors started to get a foothold in the game and were definitely the better side.

On 33 minutes, Newcastle tried to break when Mousa Sissoko released Ajoze Perez but Tomkins was on hand to save his side with a superb tackle.

Perez was worrying the home side again just five minutes later, when he latched onto a ball from Sammy Ameobi but Tomkins once again thwarted him.

Three minutes before half-time, the home fans thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Andy Carroll's shot was blasted against Mike Williamson but referee Mike Dean ignored the appeals.

At the break, Big Sam would probably have been the happier of the two managers as the teams went down the tunnel with the deadlock still to be broken, as the visitors were starting to turn up the heat and to keep the goalless was an achievement.

West Ham were quickest out of the blocks as the second-half got underway; just three minutes in a great team move involving Collins, Kouyate and Downing resulted in the former Liverpool midfielder creating a shooting chance but unfortunately he blasted his effort over the top.

The hosts finally found a way through on 56 minutes; Downing played an excellent ball to Kouyate and the Senegalese decided he would take a shot but completely mishit the ball. Luckily Aaron Cresswell had continued his run and picked up the loose ball to slot it past Elliot and give the home support something to cheer about.

On 70 minutes, the Irons made their first change as Allardyce decided to replace Jarvis with Mauro Zarate.

One of the most ridiculous sendings off you'll ever see happened just six minutes later and Alan Pardew's side were reduced to ten men. Sissoko was booked for kicking the ball away first and then, to add insult to injury, just 46 seconds later he was shown a second yellow for an altercation with Carroll.

As the match entered its closing stages, Nolan came off the bench to replace Kouyate.

With two minutes of normal time to play, Zarate, who certainly made an impact when he was introduced at Everton nearly did the same here, but Elliot produced a spectacular save to keep the scoreline down.

As the game went into four minutes of stoppage time, Newcastle would have grabbed an equaliser had Papis Cisse not sent a shot miles wide of the post with Adrian out of his goal.

Downing had the chance to make the scoreline even more comfortable for the hosts just two minutes later, but hit the post from a tight angle.

Newcastle were still pressing for an equaliser and were given a freekick which the home side eventually cleared but only for a corner putting more pressure on themselves. West Ham did clear the resulting set-piece and with that the final whistle bought relief to the majority inside the Boleyn.

The East Londoners make the trip to West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night, as they look to build another winning run.

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